Saturday, March 01, 2008

PAST EXPERIENCE: part 4

Here ye, here ye. This is the last will and testament of Jason Badower. I've been struck down by some virulent Brittanic virus that seems to be some unholy synthesis of the Rage virus, Ebola, Leprosy and strain 138 of the Shanti virus. You get the point, I'm suffering. Suffering like a woman on the Boxing Day sales without her credit card. Surviving medical scientists have dubbed the virus, The Unholy Plague as only the depths of hell could have vomited up something so insipid and cruel in its symptoms and fatality rate.

Round 1 saw The Unholy Plague issue a totally unprovoked first strike. I hadn't been out drinking in two weeks. It had been regular work, early to bed and early to rise with a side order of good eating for two weeks. As far as I was concerned, my defences were strong, and going into any sort of match would favour me the victor. This didn't deter the The Unholy Plague. It first attacked me at 7am on Thursday morning with a couple rounds of vomiting. I thought a sneak attack was particularly ungentlemanly and secured a steadfast agreement to do pistols at dawn tomorrow... once I'd had some sleep.

At 1pm I awoke feeling like I'd been clubbed like Rodney King. It appears that while I was down and out The Unholy Plague laid a couple of stern body kicks which the ref didn't see. I protested the unfairness of this, but the ref was off warning The Unholy Plague's ring girl, Sinus Lass to stay outside the ring during the bout. During her latest verbal warning the bitch even caught my eye and grinned as The Unholy Plague went for an illegal choke hold inducing dizziness and nausea. I limped out of the ring, grabbed a couple glasses of water and stumbled back to bed.

SKETCH

I enjoyed these layouts. Simple, elegant and cinematic. I couldn't wait to draw Hiro!

I rose again at 6pm. I felt like The Unholy Plague had kidnapped me, hung me upside down in a large heshen sack and beaten me repeatedly with phone books and baseball bats. By the time my sister came home from work, she found me listlessly staring off into the distance, a half eaten piece of toast and a forgotten glass of water in my hands. I had devolved into (what is traditionally known in the zombie community as) a Shuffle. I struggled out of what could really only be described as Post Traumatic Shock and sent a couple apologetic emails to my editor promising that her pieces would be on her desk tomorrow. These were supposed to be the huge booth posters for the New York Comic Convention. They had to be the best work I was capable of. As soon as I'd hit the "sent" button, my sister hustled me off to bed. I warily drew up the doona/duvet (whatever) and reaffixed the sentry guns and landmines expecting another sneak attack from The Unholy Plague.

LINEART

I ended up doing a screen capture from Kaito's funeral from season 2 and moved people around, but it's largely the same frame. I do like my Hiro. I think I got reference from season 1 here. The trees were a bit experimental for panel four and I like the gothic noir feel it has. Those of you paying attention might have seen my geek Easter Egg and noticed that I used Hiro's boss, Mr Kin Egami as the executive who confronts Kimiko.

I cunningly slept through pistols and vomiting at dawn. I awoke Friday at 11am. Sensing trouble, The Unholy Plague had decided to lob mortars over my defensive wall which had not done any more damage, but the constant noise and shockwaves had stopped my Mutant Healing Factor from kicking in and repairing me whole. Somehow I kept my eyes open for 10 hours and finished off the last two booth pieces. The first I was very happy with, the last, not so much. At 9pm I stumbled off back to bed. The sentry guns were fully armed, the landmines prepped and I issued orders to the troops to engage in perimeter sweeps to dissuade The Unholy Plague from the previous night's mortar strikes.

TONE WORK

I especially like how all the people turned out. I felt that panel 1 got a bit muddy and confusing from poor composition, though.

Saturday (today) I awoke, at 730am. The perimeter was unnaturally quiet and reports from the front issued a suspicious all clear. I stared over the horizon surveying the battlefield. It was like regarding an old friend who had returned from overseas. You know them, you remember them, but you're going to have to get to know them all over again. Everything had changed. War does that to you. War changes you. The Unholy Plague changes you. I'm still reeling. A man returned to a country he barely recognises. Everything's the same but different. People regard me differently. Human beings can sense on a visceral, subconscious level when another has been through a near death traumatic experience. They regard me with a wary nonchalance knowing that intimacy with my recent experience will affect them on a primal and heretofore unrevealed level, even to themselves.

COLOUR

Panel 1 got a bit muddy, but I like the way the rest turned out. If I hadn't been referencing an actual scene from the show, I would have set this at sunset for more dramatic lighting than in the middle of a sunny day.

My mind is sharp, but my body is still reeling from the experience. Two regular cartridges of Neurofen slammed into my magazine seem to keep me alert through the fog of The Unholy Plague's wake. You only wish this sort of suffering on your worst enemy. It's the perfect sort of suffering. They lie there, weak, nauseous and drained while you dance around them, throw general insults and little scrunched up bits of paper at their nose. If you're lucky, they die... suffering.


FINAL TOUCHES

Some added lighting effects. It was a buzz to draw Hiro again. I love drawing the guy. He's just so easy to draw. Overall for a fast, rushed page, this turned out really well. To give you an idea of how rushed, I drew and coloued pages 4, 5 and 6 over two days!

Inspired by the very mechanisms of human nature that drive us through our lives, we are forced to ask Why something like this could happen. How could something so brutal and heartless like The Unholy Plague be unleashed into our lives? But sometimes it's not our place to ask why, but merely give thanks that we survived. And the immortal words of Captain Malcolm Reynolds come echoing into my mind, "We're not gonna die. We can't die, Bendis. You know why? Because we are so...very...pretty. We are just too pretty for God to let us die."

And I thank God for considering me prettier than the ill-fated Bendis. But he left me scarred with a hollow, haunted look to my eyes (that hopefully adds charm and a certain mystique.) And in the wake of The Unholy Plague, all we can do is hug a loved one and thank God that all of us who are reading this were indeed pretty enough.

Or I could just be a big wuss and a drama queen.

10 comments:

Ororo_Munroe said...

Hahahaha You are a bigger drama queen than my gbff and considering he is a drag queen that is saying something. Your performance is much more entertaining though.

That is one of my favorite lines from Firefly. I use it all the time with an appropriate twist according to the situation. XD

Buy Airborne, and keep it at hand for the next battle. It is amazing stuff. I even buy the Pixie stick kids kind for my nephew.

delusions_of_grandeur said...

I second ororo_munroe. Keep a supply of Airborne around for the next time the unholy plague hits. Not sure if the UK carries it, but I'm quite certain you can get some in LA.

I hope you can bounce back from this quickly.

DeletedSeen said...

Oh, Jason, I'm really sorry, but it definitely sounds like you've caught the Norovirus. Everybody in the UK's been warned about it - and to stay home so they don't spread it. Look it up on wikipedia or just type in Norovirus on google.
Hope you get better soon, it is quite nasty, and apparently you just have to get through it as most stuff doesn't work on it... but it sounds like you've already got through the worst of it.
Thanks for keeping up the blog even though you're feeling rubbish!

Flawedprefect said...

How come the Brits have all the fun? We Aussies are sick to death of paradise down under. Good on ya Jase, for going to the land where they are constanly struck down by REAL deseases, not the pansy-ass strains we get in Oz. Maybe when the viruses (or virii?) get down here, they forget to infect people and just go surfing. Yep - that's the solution, mate: come back to Oz, go surfing with the bugs, and then get back to work.

Anonymous said...

But you're OUR wussy drama queen. ;)

(Willow here, I can't remember my damn Google account info.)

So sorry you're not feeling well! :( I had an incredibly horrible evil flu thing about 10 years ago that just about killed me (not kidding!), so I know where you're coming from.

Handwashing, hand sanitizer, and don't touch your face if you can help it! That'll prevent it for next time.

As always, an amazingly great Heroes comic, so glad they're still using you. I need my Jason fix!!

Anonymous said...

..will you still work with Annette re: colouring? ..just curious..hope you start feeling better ..

Anonymous said...

..yep.. an inappropriately timed question XD ... great analogy, though!
I think you and Annette are a terrific team... glad to hear that you're both working on Zero G - love your artwork AND colouring..... want even more GNs :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Jase,

Kezz here, I am very glad you survived the experience. Glad to see you are just like the rest of the males who have a sniffle :) It would be extremely unfair if you were good at everything!

Scott and the kids say hi, Sarah is convinced you are coming home for her 5th birthday, you can't let her down!

PS. Jon Stewart had a gag running on Airborne, apparently it is utterly useless and the company just had a huge payout. Stick to whiskey, sugar, lemon and hot water

ttfn

jasonb said...

Oh, I'd love to see Sarah and Xander for her 5th bday! Maybe if we do a huge cardboard cutout and you guys take turns passing it around and "being me" that would work?

Ah, shame about that Airborne stuff. You can't get it here in the UK anyway. And I just caught the flu which basically has me bedridden watching movies and tv while sniffling, coughing and sweating through three sets of clothing a day. The doc said that cos it's a virus, antibiotics (which only target infections) won't work. It's interesting to see how you take the doc's suggestion and "Kezify" it:

DOC: Ginger, lemon, honey, hot water.

KEZ: Whiskey, lemon, sugar, hot water.

That's the funniest thing I've read all day cos it's so you! I'm having one just to remind me of you guys. =)

Anonymous said...

I had that flu last month, and it took over two weeks to get back to normal. I must be a drama queen too, because I just nodded in agreement as I read your comments. :)

Welcome back to life!